The weather gods took pity on us yesterday and I was initially ecstatic to see the clear skies, then overwhelmed with a growing Shame Spiral over not soaking up the sunshine as much as humanly possible (this is a mixed sensation I am convinced is unique to the Pacific Northwest, a frantic feeling of MUST GET OUTSIDE AND LAY CLAIM TO THIS DAY that almost—almost—leeches the enjoyment from the infrequent-but-gorgeous days we get during the winter), so I forced myself to do something I haven’t done in months, and went for a run.

It’s nearly impossible to believe I was able to run for hours at a time one year ago. I suppose I could theoretically do some distance running now, but probably only if I were being chased by a pack of slow yet unusually committed wolves.

While I felt pretty out of shape running-wise, I was able for the first time to methodically chug my way up an evilly steep lung-busting hill in our neighborhood without stopping to walk. I mean, this was the sort of “running” where I could have easily been overtaken by a glacier, and I had the sort of calm, steady breathing that strips nearby pine trees bare, but still. I owe that hill to CrossFit.

I’ve been feeling sort of unmotivated about CrossFit lately for a few reasons. The class I go to is getting huge and chaotic, whenever I look at the workout ahead of time I spend my day struggling with a nearly overwhelming desire to skip class, and I’m always recovering from some epic muscle soreness that leaves me feeling tired and flu-y and craving carbs.

Hardest of all, I think, is the feeling that I’m not really going anywhere with this workout. It’s difficult to measure your progress in XF, at least it is for me. Aside from the rare benchmark workout, every workout is different—and every workout is designed to push every person, regardless of their skill level, to their max. So while I can generally tell that I’m stronger and able to lift heavier weights and I’ve got better technique than I used to, I don’t get a sense of improvement. It’s hard to, when every workout leaves you gasping on the floor.

People talk about personal bests in CrossFit, but I’m not good at tracking my performance over time. Like, how did I do the last time I did a combo of box jumps, thrusters, and ring dips? Fuck if I know, all I can tell you is that shit hurt.

It’s a bit of an ego-killer, and compounding that is this sense of comparison, because you’re in a class with other people. It’s an unusual environment, I think, where everyone is very focused on their own performance within the context of the group. Which is to say, it’s supportive and awesome and no one gives one shit if you come in last . . . and yet it’s impossible not to think, oh my god I can’t believe I came in last. That right there provides a lot of motivation you won’t get on your own, but it can also feel discouraging.

Anyway, getting to the top of that hill felt a lot more rewarding than finishing a CrossFit workout, because it was something I flat-out couldn’t do before. I’ve really been missing that sense of accomplishment that comes from something other than “I finished without throwing up/dying” (although, as any CrossFitter will tell you, that’s a non-trivial accomplishment in and of itself).

There’s a lot I really like about CrossFit, I think I just need to mix in some other things. I seem to do better with committing to exercise when I have a goal in mind, like a race. It might be time to put my money where my mouth is and sign up for some sort of event.

Are any of you floundering in a workout rut lately? How do you typically get yourself re-energized in something new?

Comments

51 Responses to “On CrossFit and other forms of self-torture”

  1. wockyjabber on March 6th, 2011 4:26 pm

    Well, I decided to try Yoga and holy shit, is it hard as hell. In a awesome good way. I didn’t realize what a complete and total workout it was. I walked out of there drenched in sweat and yes, sore for two days. What I do really like about it is the fact that you are so completely and totally absorbed in trying not to fall on your face that you are not paying attention to what others are doing. There’s none of that, “I’m last and feel like poo” stuff. I hate group classes, because I always feel totally self aware of all of my short comings, and am the one that goes left when everyone is going right, but not in Yoga. Plus, my mind shuts the hell up the entire time I am there. That right there is worth a million bucks.

  2. wockyjabber on March 6th, 2011 4:28 pm

    “An” awesome. Geez. Duh. Grammar iz hard.

  3. Elaine on March 6th, 2011 4:46 pm

    I’ve been doing martial arts in some form my whole life and before I had my son I had spent about 1.5 years doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I struggle with the same things in BJJ that you are struggling with in XF. I’m one of only two women in those classes and I wear a blue belt around my waist which I earned with sweat and pain and time. That belt makes a huge target for all the new guys who come in and want to prove how tough they are by tapping out an upper belt. It’s so frustrating because no matter how good you are when it comes to a grappling based martial art if one person is much heavier and stronger than the other they will often come out on top.

    This kind of stuff makes it so difficult for me to measure progress. I’ll have one phenominal night and then I’ll have weeks of nights where I get trampled by bigger, stronger, guys who are new. One hour of class makes me feel exhausted, achey all over and in need of a strong drink and days of sleep. If it was just me I would talk myself out of it all the time but my husband talks me into going twice a week. I end up feeling glad I went and I take the time to constantly remind myself that I’m not losing or getting beat on because I’m bad.

    The nights where I get to choke out a 180lb dude make it worth it. That shit is priceless.

  4. Sharon on March 6th, 2011 4:52 pm

    I have attended a boot camp similar to xf for over a year and my experience has been completely opposite. The classes are kept smaller, the trainer is good about knowing when to push and when to back off. I know that sense of dread you are talking about and this class does not make me feel that way. Maybe a different xf or boot camp? It’s a shame you have to feel that way because it can be enjoyable while challenging.

  5. ZestyJenny on March 6th, 2011 5:15 pm

    Can you break your habit of checking the WOD before class? I would never make it if I knew what I was in for.

    I so feel you on not ever feeling like you are improving. I am definitely one of the last ones every class, always have been, despite being of above average fitness. But not at Crossfit.

  6. kathleen on March 6th, 2011 5:15 pm

    I’m a personal trainer but I struggle with this myself. I’ve found that I have to mix it up often, even though it can make me feel like a quitter. Over the last few years I found what works best for me: I do Crossfit about 5-6 months out of the year, and then something else for about 4 months (hot yoga, training for a race, or my current obsession, kickboxing) and then I usually take a few months off.

    I want to be the type of person who finds and commits to the perfect type of exercise for me, but honestly, I’m not the ‘drinking the kool-aid’ type. It means I’m never part of the cool kids community- this is true not just at my Crossfit gym, but also my boxing and yoga studios. Honestly, I’ve had to just get over it. My boyfriend is an Ironman and has trained with the same folks for years and I envy his single-mindedness, and his ability to clearly track how much faster and stronger he’s gotten. That said, I know that changing things up is also challenging- while I may feel like a quitter, I’m also the type of person who will walk into any type of exercise and give it an honest solid effort. I think that’s worth something.
    Good luck finding what works best for you. I’d love to hear about what you try.

  7. Ali V. on March 6th, 2011 5:31 pm

    I’m on a…break? from CrossFit right now. I found I was dreading going to class everytime, and not because the workout was so hard, but because it was so incredibly isolating. Everyone talks about the great CrossFit community, and I definitely felt that in my intro classes. But the regular class I joined was filled with long-time cross-fitters who didn’t seem at all interested or even tolerant about interacting with a newbie. When I showed up and saw partner WODs on the board I would seriously consider sneaking out after the warm-up. This sounds very whiny I know – but there is just a limit to the amount of social-anxiety I feel like I should have to deal with while paying to have my ass kicked.

    I think I may try pilates again and get back to running, and then go back to CrossFit in a different timeslot in a month or so and see how it goes. I’m hoping I just haven’t found the right Crossfit group yet, because I do love the variety and the challenge.

  8. Linda on March 6th, 2011 5:41 pm

    Ali: I know JUST what you mean. My intro classes were awesome, the regular classes…totally different vibe. If we had partner WODs I would have quit months ago (they only do that on Saturdays).

  9. Elaine on March 6th, 2011 5:48 pm

    I didn’t even know there were partner WODs. I can’t handle XF personally. It just isn’t fun for me and honestly if I’m spending a few hours a week bettering myself it needs to be fun or I just stop going. Jiu-jitsu is at least fun for me (most of the time). I also really love Muy Tai but I end up looking like a battered wife if I take too many of those classes in a week. I get tired of fielding the questions after a while.

  10. Sarah Lena on March 6th, 2011 5:58 pm

    So, I’m with you. I quit XF after a few months, mostly because of cost, but also because my ENTIRE DAY was shaped around that damn WOD. I would spend long meetings gazing off into space, wondering how humiliated I would be later that day. And while I saw improvement, and I was hella proud of myself, it has SERIOUSLY screwed with how I can motivate myself.

    I’ve now decided to return to running; I hate it more than calculus, but I’ve always seen results and I don’t DREAD it like I do XF. I’ve seen XF work miracles for people, but for me, I needed to not dread something I was paying an arm and a leg for on a daily basis.

  11. Paige on March 6th, 2011 6:04 pm

    I am most definitely in a workout rut. The half marathon I signed up for back in January took place today…I was sitting in a Mexican restaurant pile driving chips and salsa into my face. Part of it was my own fault by not making time for long runs (I’ve run 2 hm’s previously, so I knew exactly what I was committing to.) Part of it was shitty circumstances: lots of illness the past few months and crazy ridiculous weather (20+ inches of snow? For god’s sake we’re in ARKANSAS…this is the SOUTH!) For now, I’m trying to focus on remembering why I love running by just taking some easy 2-4 milers each day after work. I’ve also decided to become the last person on earth to try the 30 Day Shred. I’ve wanted to in the past but I was always training for a race, and I didn’t want to risk injury since I’d heard Shred was super intense. I’m actually starting it tonight. As soon as I, um, stop inhaling these creme de menthe hershey kisses I found at Target today (imagine a mint flavored orgasm, if you will.)

  12. sooboo on March 6th, 2011 6:44 pm

    I flunked gym class three years in a row and although I now enjoy working out, I still dislike classes including yoga. I run a lot and when I get bored, I switch my route. I have done yoga classes so I feel comfortable doing classes from yogaglo.com. I also live on a largish lot that requires a lot of work that we can’t afford to hire someone to do, so I “work the land” too. I’m thinking about buying a bike this summer. I also just bought a hula hoop which is so much harder than it was in third grade. I applaud you for doing that Crossfit. It sounds like gym class with just the jocks. I could never do it.

  13. kim on March 6th, 2011 7:09 pm

    For me, the main thing that keeps me motivated is racing. I am a runner & have been for years. I do go to the gym for cross-training and variety, but when I am in my “racing season,” I mostly run. Having a race looming ahead of me is very motivating: I like to see improvement, I don’t want to embarrass myself, but mostly — ideally — I want to win! If I don’t have racing to work toward, then it’s too easy to slack off or just “dial in” my workouts. I also suggest not just one race, but have a series of races, clustered together, that you commit to racing. Running gets you ready to race; only racing gets you better at racing. Just Do It.

    I recommend getting a training book. I used “Daniels’ Running Formula” (by Jack Daniels, no joke), and it shaved massive chunks off my 5k time. Part of the motivation for me was having this rather technical and complicated workout plan that I struggled to absorb from the book and figured out for myself, and then following it. It was satisfying to know that it was MY training plan (ok, Jack Daniels’ FORMULA, but I had to figure out how to apply it to myself). I enjoyed ticking off specific workouts after I did them.

    I can tell you: if you do it, it will WORK. Getting a new PR is a big motivator.

  14. sienamystic on March 6th, 2011 7:16 pm

    I’m trying to get back into my rut, sadly. My gym time has been really messed up recently due to a string of bad crap, and I’m starting to stress eat on top of it. I fought pretty hard to lose a bunch of weight in the past year, and I’m terrified that I’m going to gain it all back because I can’t get my life in order.

    I have been changing things up by adding swimming into the routine, and I also take aikido at least once a week – would love to add another MA into the mix but I don’t have the time or the money. And I’ve toyed with running, but I don’t love it a lot and my knees object as well, so I haven’t really pushed it.

  15. Andrea Fox on March 6th, 2011 7:43 pm

    i plan on going to the gym when my daughter is in first grade. i need to ease into these things slowly….

  16. jen on March 6th, 2011 8:59 pm

    I’m floundering. I did two half marathons and a full within a year and on my last half (in October) I injured my foot and I’ve been just doing 30DS and running only about 10 miles per week. I know I need to sign up for a race soon. BUT on the plus side, I now have the teensiest definition in my arms thanks to the shredding so I’m not totally feeling like this funk has been a failure. Still, I feel a little like one since I wanted to do another marathon this Spring and it’s looking like Fall will be ambitious.

  17. Hilary on March 6th, 2011 9:06 pm

    Like you, I work from home as a writer. I thought the transition from working in an office to working by myself would be easy — after all, I love to be by myself. It wasn’t until I joined CrossFit in July and started going to a noon class that I realized I desperately missed interacting with people other than my friends and family. There’s something about relating to others on my own terms, not as someone’s mom or wife, that I find deeply satisfying.

    I experienced the same pre-WOD dread as you — and still do, if the WOD involves pull-ups — but it’s gotten better. The supportive environment really helps. So what I guess I’m saying, is, could you try another class time? Is it that the environment overall isn’t friendly or supportive? Is there any sort of social interaction there, or does everyone keep to themselves?

    I totally didn’t answer any of your questions, sorry. Good luck as you try to figure it all out. I’m sure you will.

  18. willikat on March 6th, 2011 9:48 pm

    To me, everything I hear about CrossFit sounds like the lowest, deepest pit of hell. it sounds like junior high gym class, bullies and all. (Yours are not the only accounts I’ve read of it.) But, to each her own, for sure, because some people think doing yoga and pilates is horrific work. But for me, it’s a much more hugs and cupcakes kind of atmosphere, not to mention I’m just focused on me and not the 99% of people in the room that are better than me, which is where I thrive. And I have to feel like I’m making some progress or I seriously won’t go. The only thing that gets me back on the workout wagon is simply FORCING myself, kicking and screaming, to go. One thing that helps me is packing my gym bag and leaving it by the door. then I have to grab it on my way out, and then it sitting in the front seat, mocking me all day til I go, means I go. And once it’s over, I’m always glad, I ALWAYS feel better, and it always helps me want to go again. Sorry there isn’t a better suggestion in all of that.

  19. Joke on March 7th, 2011 1:12 am

    Just wanted to compliment on some excellent writing Linda. “… but probably only if I were being chased by a pack of slow yet unusually committed wolves.” is the funniest thing I have read all day! :)

    And on workouts – switch it up! Who says you need to do CrossFit? Or only running? Kickboxing has been mentioned here and it is AWESOME. Go for a long swim (take a class if that helps). Do yoga with a friend… try 8 new workouts this month!

  20. Ruth on March 7th, 2011 7:07 am

    You might enjoy cycling! Acquire a road bike and find a group ride(s). The cycling community is a generous, happy, and encouraging group of folks!

    I also kind of hope you take up running again – your running posts were motivating.

  21. Cass on March 7th, 2011 8:33 am

    My boyfriend, who runs and bikes all the time and is fitter than most, got kicked out of CrossFit. Because the instructor thought he was not good enough or too old (he’s 45). That to me says a lot about the mentality of CrossFit groups right there. No thank you.

  22. Alexis on March 7th, 2011 8:47 am

    This post came at the perfect time. I am in a serious work-out rut because I am totally feeling your “CrossFit phenomenon.” I am sick of feeling like it never gets any easier. Chris (the DH) and I just talked this over and I guess I am now able to make the distinction between “training” and “working out.” I am definitely in the latter group. I just want to look and feel better and working out is part of that. I don’t want to run a 10K, become a yoga master or earn a black-belt…I just want to get moving. This is not a mindset that will make me a “winner” but it does make me enjoy my working out so much more. That probably doesn’t help, but hey, at least none of us are alone in our slumps.

  23. Heather on March 7th, 2011 8:48 am

    My running is dwindling so I’ve started planning for a Warrior Dash, something to make me focus on my running some but also gets me to the gym to try and morph my t-rex arms into useful tools. It goes by a lot of different names – Tough Mudder is about the best known I think.

    It actually sounds about up your ally because it would blend running and your XF stuff.

  24. Tee on March 7th, 2011 9:05 am

    LOL @ ‘but probably only if I were being chased by a pack of slow yet unusually committed wolves.’

    I love this sentence. You’re funny.

  25. MRW on March 7th, 2011 9:20 am

    After being in a rut for awhile which I attribute to the crap weather, the kids being sick, me being sick, and then my getting a small but painful injury, I’ve been struggling to get back into something. Anything.

    My husband has really been into running and has started playing racketball in a league and wants to win etc, Alexis, however, perfectly summed up my struggle with exercise: I don’t want to train for something to be uber fit or work out like a fiend for weeks on end. I just want to get in some kind of shape, make some kind of progress, and keep from needing to buy new bigger clothing because I can’t get my ass in gear.

    I’ve found over the years I have to switch things up or I get really bored or suffer some kind of repetitive stress injury. I tend to rotate between running, yoga, and kickboxing. Of course as noted, right now I’m just struggling to force myself to do something more often than twice a week. Damn if every year winter in the NW doesn’t just sap my will to live never mind my ability to force myself to exercise. Bleh.

  26. Becky on March 7th, 2011 9:23 am

    I know people who are obsessed with Crossfit, but everything I hear about it takes me right back to gym class and that awful pit of the stomach dread. Admittedly, I’m not overly ambitious in my workouts – I mainly look for things that keep me moving and that I enjoy at least somewhat. For me right now, that’s Zumba. It takes me back to what I loved doing growing up – dancing – and I feel myself actually smiling during class. At the end of a long work day, I feel like the last thing I need is something else to dread or that makes me feel like a failure.

  27. Anonymous on March 7th, 2011 10:04 am

    A pack of slow but unusually committed wolves!? Funniest comment ever!! I am going to picture that as I run on my treadmill (aka clothing hanger) tonight. I told myself I would…and I think I need to start today.

  28. Dana on March 7th, 2011 11:19 am

    If you need a race to train for, set your sights on this:
    http://toughmudder.com/events/washington-seattle/
    It’s not until 2012 but I think it sounds like something you’d enjoy.
    I’m doing the Pennsylvania event in four weeks.
    I know you feel like you’ve hit a rut but just reading about your workouts on Twitter gives me inspiration to keep at mine.

  29. Anonymous on March 7th, 2011 12:06 pm

    Working out! My attitude to getting fit completely changed the day I found out about Les Mills group fitness classes at a local gym.

    I hate working out by myself, on a treadmill, plodding along. Or forcing myself to go lift heavy weights in the veritable sea of testosterone.

    Then, only because my son, 19 at the time, made the statement of “My mom will NEVER go to a class.” is how I found my ass not in one class but in two to three classes, 7 days a week.

    I loved it so much I became an instructor myself (BodyFlow and BodyPump). The class participants keep me motivated and I teach at least 5 times a week. I HAVE to show up. There are no excuses.

    The best part? I have made so many friends, just from those classes. Good friends!

  30. Renee on March 7th, 2011 12:06 pm

    Working out! My attitude to getting fit completely changed the day I found out about Les Mills group fitness classes at a local gym.

    I hate working out by myself, on a treadmill, plodding along. Or forcing myself to go lift heavy weights in the veritable sea of testosterone.

    Then, only because my son, 19 at the time, made the statement of “My mom will NEVER go to a class.” is how I found my ass not in one class but in two to three classes, 7 days a week.

    I loved it so much I became an instructor myself (BodyFlow and BodyPump). The class participants keep me motivated and I teach at least 5 times a week. I HAVE to show up. There are no excuses.

    The best part? I have made so many friends, just from those classes. Good friends!

  31. AndreAnna on March 7th, 2011 12:19 pm

    Everyone has their “thing.” For me, it’s XF. I have an amazing box, coaches, and a really great “crossfit family” there. But not everyone has that and that’s unfortunate.

    But even for people who DO have it, XF may not be the only thing that gets them out of bed in the morning. There’s no rule anywhere that you have to pick one sport and have that be your “thing.”

    You, my friend, have many Things in your life. You like to have multiple things going at once and test and push yourself to be the best you can be in those aspects. There’s no reason you have to “choose” XF and marry it forever, ya know?

    I’m a firm believer in not doing things that don’t make you happy, make your life better. If you evaluate the situation and there’s nothing YOU can do (like switch class times, boxes, etc.) to make the experience better, than maybe use it as a supplement instead of Your Sport. It can save you $$ to go down to, say, a punch card instead of unlimited monthly things.

    It makes me sad when I hear bad things about CF (like Cass above having her boyfriend be kicked out of a box – WTF is THAT? I’ve NEVER heard of that crap in my life) because I have had such a positive experience regarding it, but it’s like anything else: nothing is the same everywhere for everyone.

    You’re gonna kick ass no matter what you do. And if you want your CF “training” to be put towards a test, run a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder. You’ll amaze yourself.

    Also (and now I win the award for the longest comment ever), our gym uses logwod.com where we log in our workouts every day and you can track your progress on just those things you were talking about. And it IS exhilarating to push press 135# and look back in my record and see I could only do 75# when I first started.

  32. Holly on March 7th, 2011 12:36 pm

    I remember when I first started CrossFit (and I say that like it was ages ago, but dude it was only last October) the coaches at my box mentioned that they encourage everyone to have a second sport. This blew my mind at the time because I was like “Whaaa??? This isn’t enough?” but now I get it. Having another physical activity that you love and work on outside the walls of your gym can really bring a healthy dose of perspective to one bad WOD.

    Now that said, I think it sounds like your actual box might not be a great fit. (Snicker, I’m a 12 year old boy on the inside.) But if switching isn’t an option, try getting back into running or doing something else. CrossFit definitely works, but it is not the be-all end-all. YOU are the be-all end-all. Do what makes you feel happy, healthy, and alive!

  33. k on March 7th, 2011 12:41 pm

    i’m on week 3 of p90x. i love it. except the part where i’m sitting here avoiding my workout. i don’t know why–the workouts are fun, i find myself smiling in the middle of them, and because they have you record everything, i’m seeing progress. and feeling it. and i nearly lost my skirt at church yesterday because, um, obviously i’m a little trimmer (though i didn’t realize it was so obvious). i think it’s the drab weather and wind and just general WILL IT EVER BE SPRING feeling. i’m glad you posted! hope your rut dissolves soon. off to workout!

  34. Lisa on March 7th, 2011 6:08 pm

    I like yoga a whole lot. I like that the whole philosophy is not to bust ass & push to the limit, but to pay attention to what your specific body can do. It’s a slow, peaceful progression, which goes against the American “I want it now” mindset, which might frustrate some people, but I like that. Plus, you work on your body & mind, which is also good, and there is such a variety of poses- some of which I can’t do very well, but others I can do well- it makes me feel good- I am constantly surprised by what I can do & I look forward to class every week & think it’s fun, which is more than I can say about a lot of exercise!

  35. Lori O on March 7th, 2011 7:44 pm

    This is very enlightening for me to read. My husband is in the process of opening his own XF gym, so I’m, naturally, not sleeping at night, mind racing about owning our own business and keeping it alive (you’ve been there). We love/hate hearing about other CrossFit gyms that are intimidating elite-ists – they are out there, but that’s not how it should be, and not how he wants his to be. He wants to build a community where all fitness levels can feel welcome and proud of their achievements.

    I haven’t “officially” done CrossFit – I just have him give me workouts I can do in the gym facility at my work, and they are generally CrossFit inspired. I know what you mean – it’s hard to feel like you’re getting better when the workout always changes and always gives an a$$-kicking. BUT, knowing that I’m always challenging myself helps me know that it’s worth it. Getting better at something also means you’re not getting as much out of it in return.

    I am also a runner, and have noticed that doing the CrossFit type workouts has greatly increased my running ability – able to attack the hills and run at an overall faster pace.

    As always, thanks for your honesty on your blog. Especially now, reading this and your commenters is inspiring for me as I support my husband in his CrossFit endeavors!

  36. Dawna on March 7th, 2011 9:40 pm

    half. marathon. HALF. MARATHON. I totally think you should do a half marathon!

    Really, that’s just all that’s on my mind because I’m training for one and YOU inspired me to do it.

    I quit CF almost two years ago for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, plus some. I definitely have felt over trained and stressed before I left. I never looked at the WODs ahead of time becuase I would not have made it to class.

    In 6 months I’ll have the opportunity to go back, and I’m totally taking it! After two years off, I really miss it.

    I think it can be good to mix other stuff in. Use CrossFit to train for what you love… if you do CF for the sake of doing CF, you lose perspective and it can become a bad thing. If your CF performance isn’t the main focus, some of the stress and frustration will dissipate.

  37. Mandy on March 8th, 2011 7:44 am

    I’m also a P90X person – it’s at home which means there are so very few legit excuses to bail on a workout. When I lived in a more urban area, I thrived in an all women’s gym, but now that I live in the sticks there is no such option. I couldn’t deal with the jocks and super-fitness types in a co-ed environment. P90X at home is where it’s at for me! Good luck!

  38. Joanne on March 8th, 2011 8:58 am

    I know people love P90X. I mostly work out at home and I usually do workouts On Demand. A few months ago, I started to do every workout on the On Demand channel and I blogged about it. It kept me accountable to try everything (well, almost everything) and I can check back on it when I want to do something but I don’t know what. That Cross Fit sounds really hard to me and sort of like the opposite of what I want from a workout.

  39. Jess on March 8th, 2011 9:08 am

    I just joined xf. Not so sure about it. I do Kettle Bells 3x a week and LOVE it. Our teacher incorporates the TRX straps into the classes. Check out the kettlebells-I think you would dig it! I am 3 months post partum and running hurts after a c section- I miss it.

  40. Frannie on March 8th, 2011 9:24 am

    I plan on joining XF in the coming weeks. You’re right, it is different in that it’s maximizing your workout in a short amount of time. I think by measuring your progress, do these workouts make you feel stronger? Are you able to do more reps than when you started? My husband tells me he doesn’t get too discouraged when he doesn’t quite finish first. I guess it can change the mood when a lot of people start to get involved, and the group starts to lose that encouraging support. Stay positive, and stay strong, mentally.

  41. Liz on March 8th, 2011 10:06 am

    I’ve been thinking about this post for the past few days, and thinking about how to respond to it.

    I had to ditch crossfit for a bit this winter; I was in a new gym, and I just… didn’t like them. I didn’t look forward to going and seeing the people there, and I couldn’t muster the energy or enthusiasm for the workouts without the community of it. Now that I’m settled in my new home, with a new and different gym, I’ve found I really like the community, so my enthusiasm for the sport has regenerated.

    Like you, I found Crossfit has improved my ability to do other things I like to do – running, hiking, uhhh, moving everything I own – and I take a lot of pleasure in feeling stronger in areas where I wouldn’t’ necessarily expect it. But everything comes in waves for me – I loved Crossfit when I was burning out from long distance running, but now I’m missing running and wanting to do that more, and wondering if I can keep up the habit for both. But mostly I like the ability to go running even if I haven’t been doing it in awhile, and I know I get that from crossfit.

    But really, that doesn’t matter for YOU. This is all suppose to be fun – or at least rewarding – right? Maybe the time of day you crossfit isn’t the right slot for you, but if that’s the only one that you can do, then maybe crossfit doesn’t work for you right now. Or maybe it does, but you just need a break. Or a new gym, or … I don’t know. But I do know the best way to re-energize is to change something. So what can you change? Time of day? Gym? New Sport? Or just take a break? Or new routine – running more w/crossfit as a supplement?

  42. Liz on March 8th, 2011 10:07 am

    PS, stop feeding your kids waffles. You’re killing them, GOD!

    (i kid)

  43. babelbabe on March 8th, 2011 11:44 am

    i always mix it up. have to. consider taking up ice hockey. it rocks :)

  44. Anonymous on March 9th, 2011 1:44 pm

    I did CF for several months. I enjoyed the workouts most of the time but ended up getting tired of being sore ALL THE TIME.

    I did get into better shape though, and the reason I could tell was that the gym had a blog with the WOD on it, and at the end of the workout we would all post our time/reps/weight/ whatever. So I could actually go back on the blog and compare how I did that day to how I did two months ago. Maybe you could keep a notebook in the car to write down your score or something?

  45. Amy on March 10th, 2011 7:34 am

    My workout rut is called “winter.” This is my workout life: sign up for fall marathon, train during the summer (usually starting from zero since I sat on my ass all winter), run marathon, play a little hockey in the fall/winter, but mostly sit on my ass.

    This year I tried to keep up with running at least a few times a week. That lasted through half of February. Not stellar, but farther into the winter than I’ve ever kept up with running. We get around 250 inches of snow during the winter where I live, so running is tough. Fortunately, some of it is starting to melt. With the days getting longer, I hope to get out and get back to running so I’m not starting my marathon training out at zero again.

    I have wanted to try CrossFit but don’t have a local outfit. Also, I probably couldn’t afford it; I hear it’s expensive. Races are a motivator for me; I need a goal. Generally, I’m happy if I can run most of the time and throw in a workout DVD, bike ride, or softball/hockey game. Variety is good.

  46. justa on March 10th, 2011 11:44 am

    I’d say a lot has to do with the box you go to. After a year and a half of doing some Crossfit on my own, I began going to a CF box. The coaching has been great, and even the experienced Crossfitters are supportive and encouraging. Go to a crappy box…and yeah, that could be a bad experience.

    I also second what someone else wrote about other activities. When your performance improves due to Crossfit, there will be your benchmark and motivation.

  47. Ryan on March 10th, 2011 9:06 pm

    Didn’t read anyone else’s comments becuz, I mean, gawddamn, so someone else may have said this but… Paleo Diet. Yeah, I just finished reading your little ditty about waffles and whatnot, but I gotta tell you, the wonders never cease with the Paleo Diet. Try it for 30 days and you’ll never go back, I promise.

    I assume and/or the Zone are already being preached cultishly at your local CF box so I will leave off on flogging the dead horse except to say: if you try it, you might like it. And will love the way it makes you feel.

  48. Rachael on March 13th, 2011 6:35 pm

    Crossfit sounds like self inflicted hell to me. I am a lone trainer and I just do not like the sound of the workouts. I did google it and do some reading after you first mentioned it and it didn’t take me long to close my browser window down and chuckle at the thought of me even trying it. It just wouldn’t be my thing but I SO admire you for doing it.

    For me it’s running 3-4 times a week and Bikram Yoga. If I can’t run I miss it SO much. And Bikram lets me reconnect with my body and sweat like crazy which makes me feel like I’ve done a super intense workout. Both have clear markers for noticing progress. For my running, each and every day I know how I have done. Did I run as far, as well, for as long? At Bikram each and every session is different and I know by how well I can get into position, how still I can be and how good I feel through the class.

    When I get bored I throw in a Jillian Michaels DVD at home. Or I cross train at the gym. I have to mix it up every now and then.

  49. Janna on March 21st, 2011 10:29 am

    My CrossFit group is at a rock climbing gym which I think makes it more mellow. The regulars are really welcoming and encouraging, although the guys do rib each other a bit, the women tend to get a pass on the peer pressure, which is great. I’m only about 10 weeks in, but I’m still looking forward to every workout.

    Nobody refers to it as a box either, which I appreciate. I’m not sure I’d love it as much if I went to a normal CrossFit gym.

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